I was recently nominated for a business award. It took me almost five days to determine if I was going to accept the nomination by way of completing the multi-question form and submitting it by the deadline. My challenge in completing the responses in paragraph form had nothing to do with what services my business offers. The challenge was in ‘bragging’ about me and my business because that’s what a number of the questions really boiled down to. In addition, it was a challenge to remember dates, history of community involvement and awards. This was an interesting walk through time.
After discussing this predicament with a few people, I realized I’m not alone when it comes to bragging about our successes and being acknowledged by our peers and community. As a small business we are told the best way to build our businesses is through developing relationships. So how do we brag without appearing to be bragging? And who has the most discomfort when this is happening, the bragger or the listener? I just couldn’t see how I was going to pull this off, even though it was only in writing and I didn’t have to see the look of boredom or disbelief in the judges’ eyes. I was brought up to believe bragging was not a good personality trait!
So I decided I had to come at this from a different perspective to feel comfortable. I needed to think of each question somewhat like a 30 second networking time slot. What is my Value Added Proposition? Why choose me, my company, my services and what will I give you in return? But just as importantly, how do you know I’m telling the truth? What’s my track record and is there proof?
Here is a list of what I did to create my detailed resources;
1) Talk to Resources
Talked to associates, family and clients about what I’ve done and asked if they had any suggestions of what should be included, what they remember as a significant result or happy situation that occurred. I had overlooked a major newspaper interview that had been posted online and a request to do a short video endorsement from a large corporation that showcased me as a leader in my industry.
2) Charitable Giving
Recounted the organizations I had volunteered with over the last 20 years and my contributions to those organizations. Whether you volunteer at your Church, after school programs or a large charitable organization, share the information. People want to know you have vested interest in their community.
3) Social Media
This is a great spot to look at the accomplishments that were posted in the past. If you haven’t posted your successes then without going overboard, this is a great place to post them so you and others don’t forget.
4) Referrals and References
I Googled myself and my business name. References to you and your accomplishments may be noted on others’ websites.
5) Awards and Certificates
I have now compiled a detailed list of awards and certificates I’ve received over the past few years in one document and copied newspaper and magazine articles I was mentioned in.
And, don’t forget to verbally and proudly share your successes, whether at a networking event or during a cocktail party. Without giving client or customer names, let others know how you’ve contributed to the positive growth and transformation of others. Be clear about what you have to offer.
Pull all this information together and you’ll be prepared to respond to the nomination, without reserve, because you deserve it. You just may not have realized it until you listed all your accomplishments.
Do you have other ideas to share? I love getting feedback. And, don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.
Until next time,